Sunday, May 31

A Warrior's Journy: Our Little Green Warrior

K, I've been putting off ripping the current leveling experience in WoW for a couple weeks now. I'm gonna, don't worry, but first a little Little Warrior updating. Today we're doing Roxigar of Greymane.

Rox is doing awesome. At 18 he 3-person'd through Ragefire Chasm with an Undead Mage (15) and a Blood Elf Hunter (15). Along the way he picked up a nice pair of wrists that'll last a few levels. I'll get into it later, but he didn't go to RFC earlier because there a) wasn't enough time, and b) not a lot of reason to do it, as far as leveling goes. Both of which equate to a severe lack of people actually wanting to do it at level. Gah!

He also DPS'd through Wailing Caverns with a full party. Was gonna have him go as tank, but a Level 22 Prot Warrior show'd up and we let him take the lead. It was kinda fun to do melee DPS again, even at low level. Rage generation sucks though if you don't start spec'ing into it early. Seriously, the only way to get a decent amount of rage below 20, as a Prot Warrior, is to pull multiple mobs at once. Which is fine, it just feels off, prolly cause I always leveled Warriors as Arms or Fury.

Anyhoo, he got a new turtle shield out of WC, which was really neat, though the other one might be better for Prot. Take either. You gotta hunt the big turtle down, but it's worth it. The mail belt dropped, too. I though the other Warrior was gonna take it, so I passed. He thought I was gonna take it, so he passed. It ended up going to a Warlock for vendor junk. Ouch. Communication people! Comm-un-i-ca-tion.

Both instances are not ones I've done much before. Been run through RFC ages and ages ago. And of course, Friday(1) went through WC at level and solo'd it several times way back when. With the drops in there, and skinning and herbs, it's a great place to farm up some golds. Like VC, though, there's a whole lore behind them with nice lead in quest chains that set up the feel for future quests and lore. They are well worth taking the time to do properly. Don't pay for the run through. Enjoy the experience. Rox has one or two more forays into WC and is ready to head to Shadowfang and, hopefully, make the swim to Deadmines for some Cleefy fun. :)

Rox is also making friends fast. This is where a lot of the game has lost itself. Rant/QQ in a future post as well. But for a new leveling Warrior, my advice would be to hook up with as many people as you can, friend the good ones, and STAY IN TOUCH! One guy and I chatted about the WoW books and various lore for an hour waiting for the group to fill. The social aspect is a big part of the game. You don't have to do it anymore. But do it anyway.

Aside: We're both fans of the alternate WoW reality book series called War of the Ancients. I know, I know. True lore fiends deplore those books, but they were so much fun! Where do you think my little orc's name comes from? :)


Things to take away from Rox's experiences this week: Before we started RFC, the mage was pretty certain we'd at least need a healer. The hunter and I were all fired up to go with just the three of us (and it was getting late), so the mage went along with us. We did fine. Don't drink and dungeon. Wha? Yah I was enjoying a small adult beverage. Sheesh! I'm allowed once the kids are tucked away and it helps me relax when tanking. K, so I had two adult beverages and got REALLY relaxed... and face pulled 5 mobs and 2 pats. Wipe. The hunter was suddenly pretty sure we couldn't do it and we needed a healer. And the mage and I are all, naw, we're fine. I owned up to being a dummy, and we proceeded.

Good and bad and great players start to emerge at early levels. As a new Warrior you can watch this develop. If you're completely new, you can watch and learn. Both of these guys were obviously veteran WoW players. The mage may or may not have played a mage before, but he understood how a mage works, what a mage does, and had studied his abilities in that light. He also knew how a tank works and acted accordingly when he saw that I was, at the very least, a competent tank (even while under the influence... ahem).

So he wants to sheep pull a warlock, minion and two melee adds. No problem. He sees that when I grab aggro, I immediately back up and pull the melee out of Thunderclap range of the sheeped Warlock. It may seem obvious to a modern Warrior tank, but many new players aren't going to pick that trick up the first few times. I certainly didn't. I could tell that the mage was going to be a really good, even great mage.

The hunter, on the other hand, was obvious a very skilled player. He also knew the hunter class, at least well enough to use everything a hunter has at that level. But... He would run up and pull before I did. He'd pull mobs off me and pet tank them unncessarily. He'd switch targets mid-fight before the one he was on was down. No problem at all. He was skilled enough to do those things appropriately. But I'll bet he'll still be doing those things 60 levels from now, when it is never, ever appropriate. He's a good player. But unless he changes his understanding of how a group works together, he'll never be a great player.

So little warrior, learn to do it right, even if you don't have to.

At the end, the hunter got disco'd and the mage and I finished off the last boss. It was mildly tricky, but he knew what he was doing. It's just the boss and 2 adds. Nothing terribly fancy. He chain sheeped one of the adds and we burned the boss and the other add down. At that point I couldn't even see my health bar. No idea why I was still alive. But he just kept chain sheeping the add, I bandaged a tiny bit, popped Shield Block, and we finish the last add alive. Done.

Shiny new warriors, if you're doing okay and come up against something that's a little tricky, take a good long look at your abilities. There's probably something there, some sequence of abilities, that will work. If you try one thing, and fail, do it a different way. But not just randomly. Think about it. It'll work out.

Thinking things through and knowing what your abilities do is a huge part of playing your class later. For example, I tend to get into the habit of just taking damage and relying on my priority list when tanking in Wrath. Doing these lower level Warriors, with limited abilities, has gotten me using Shield Bash again! Okay, I use it on big Friday when it's absolutely necessary, of course. But if I didn't have to, I just didn't. Bad, Friday!

Get in the habit of using the right ability and the right time, even if it's not strictly necessary. That interrupt will save your booty many, many times. And being a Warrior is all about saving the booty.


Friday, May 29

Casual Friday: Screenshot Cleaning

This guy tried for over 2 hours. Looks like he made it. Course by the time he'd satisfied the peen he'd have been done. There's nothing wrong with having an epeen. Just don't let it slow you down.:D

Fashion Week: My new fishing outfit. I thieved this idea from a nelf in Dal.

Fashion Week #2: My new around town outfit. The top is from the walrus people.

Fashion Week#3: Coordinating weaponry is required. These helped me get the Knuckle Sandwich achievement this week. :D

For the Horde! I mean... we're going for the Horde!

Aw, a note from Wrynn. Sweet!

See?!? Told ya everyone wants to hug my baby Orc!

Dark Clan GM Voldar and his pew pew, pew pew, pew pew, pew pew lasers. Guy is a one man Star Wars.

My new toy. And YES is DOES come with batteries!

OMG My interface sucks!

Not bad for questing, but still...

I'm taking out X-Perl right now! Any suggestions? I hear Bulldog is nice.


Sunday, May 24

A Warrior's Journey: Meet the Warriors

Two! Plural! Yes!

A long time ago, when I was PvP nuts, I rerolled Friday on a PvP server. At the time I was leveling other alts, as well, got burned out on the Alliance quests, and never got her past Level 10. So Friday2 just kinda sat there for, oh, a year and half, until now.

Leveling up Roxigar, my shiny new Orc Warrior, got me thinking about leveling Ally side, as well. Leveling two toons, one from each faction, and one each on a different type of server, seemed to fit this lil' "experience experiment" better. So now we're following two warriors' journeys.

Yah, I really did intend to talk about the leveling experience so far as well, and I will a bit. But first, lets meet our Warriors. :)


My baby Orc is growing up so fast! He's currently sitting at Level 17. This is, like, one of two male toons I've ever made. Hmmm... maybe third. I gotta lot of toons. Anyhow, I thought to add a little more mix to the experience experiment, I'll level one toon male, one toon female. So far no difference really. Fri gets invited to groups randomly a bit more than Rox does. Which doesn't make a lot of sense because... Rox Rocks!

He's big and green and strong and has a cute spiky mo-hawk all the Orc girls really go for. I bet blonde human mages would dig him, too. I don't see him really as a ladies man, though. I wonder why. :P He seems to be all about the adventuring. No ties. No guild. Going it alone for glory and honor... and gold.

He makes gold like crazy. Part of it, I'm sure, is the skinning and mining opportunities in the starter areas and the Barrens. I don't plan to spend a lot of golds on silly stuff for these toons. Mounts first. But I will be upgrading thier gears at least every two or three levels. Regardless, Rox isn't going to have any problem hitting the 100g mark by 30.

He's got skinning and mining for money. He's doing well financially, so far. He's outfitted mostly in greens and can easily quest 2 or 3 levels above. He's quickly by-passing the last half of the Barrens quests. Right now deciding if we should a) continue with the Barrens, b) head to straight to Stonetalen (which I've always wanted to play), or c) head for Silverpine/Hillsbrad (ditto).

Side note: Rox got into his first duel last night... and we got pwn'd hard by a Belf Pally. It was insane! I just kinda freaked out and couldn't even remember how to interrupt! Embarrassing. I'd better get my PvP shit together or Fri is gonna have a hard time of it eventually. He still hasn't done RFC or WC. Maybe tonight I can knock those out.

Orcs are obviously good tanks and warriors in general. When applied personally, the theory about knowing the quests making life easier works out. Rox does well, but he dies a LOT more than Fri does. I could do Westfall and Redridge with my eyes closed. Rox and I are in unexplored territory as we finish the Barrens and head into Stonetalon. It's very exciting. I can't recommend enough switching factions for a "new" experience if you haven't before. So far, Rox wins for getting closest to that "new to WoW" feeling.


Ah, a comfort zone. That's what worried me about leveling the same toon through the same stuffs that the original went through. So Friday2 ends up on a PvP server. The quests and zones are comfortable and familiar. But there's always that added element of danger.

Of course, I just started in on Redridge (prolly skip most of it... sigh...), so I haven't been ganked or anything like that. My only run in with the Horde so far was outside of VC and, of course, none of us are flagged in Westfall. I'll know soon enough if being flagged all the time is a pain-in-the-ass or if it's actually is fun.

I suspect a little of both. In Redridge and Duskwood I imagine it'll just be a pain in the ass. Not a lot of level 16-25 something Horde running around in those areas. Which means any horde there will most likely just be higher levels epeen ganking low levels. That's pretty cowardly, but the nature of this kinda Realm, I s'pose (And yah, I'm perfectly aware that Alliance players do the same... that 80 Rogue at Crossroads killing the FP and Inn Keeper over and over was a grade-a bunghole). It'll be more interesting when she gets to more of the mixed areas. Hillsbrad or Stranglethorn? Hmmm...

Leveling Friday is easy-sauce. Just keep the gear updated and we fly through stuff. I really wanted to get all the VC quests (which is a blast at level), so I just stayed in Westfall. And suddenly she was Level 17 and hadn't even made the run to Redridge! Got that taken care of, but still haven't done VC. As embarrassing as it sounds, she also hasn't taken the tram yet. Gonna have to take her exploring soon or she'll be one of those toons with no flight points and always whining for a summons. I don't think so!

Money-wise, Friday isn't doing nearly as well as her green-skinned counterpart. Did you know Orcs weren't always green?!? Hmmm... anyhoo...

I think this has mostly to do with the fact that she runs straight to a quest, smashes it, then runs straight to the next one, without taking any time to stop and enjoy the scenery... or mine nodes, or kill a random animal for skins. Rox bumbles around trying to find stuff and, in the process, runs into Raptors and various other skin'able beasts that he has to fight to get where he's going. He stumbles onto mining nodes all the time. Friday knows the paths to where she's going already and how to avoid unnecessary fights. So unless it's in that path, she misses a lot of money opportunities.

On the other hand, she levels way faster. I had to stop playing her for a couple of days so Rox could catch up a bit. I'll take her out exploring and mining and skinning for a couple more days. That'll give Rox time to get a smidgen ahead level-wise, and get Fri some decent gear and a good bankroll.

It's interesting, but when you're leveling a new toon, the impulse is to just level as fast as you can. Use to be this was a good thing. You leveled slowly, so always pushing ahead made sense. Now you level so fast, you miss half of what's there! If you have a guild and some higher level alts available, that makes sense, particularly if you're just trying to get to the higher level stuff for some reason. But when you're out there on your own in the big, wide realm, ya gotta slow down and take care of business.

If you're just starting out on your Warriory path, do stop your questing long enough to level up your secondary professions. First Aid is a must for a Warrior. While doing pre-quests for WC on Rox the other night, he got stuck in combat. Ergo, he couldn't eat. Without First-Aid he'd have been stuck near the entrance portal with a looooong way to go back and very little healing.

Fishing and Cooking are almost necessary, as well. Cooking particularly. Don't waste a lot of money on enchants and such in vanilla WoW. By the time you need the enchant, you'll be replacing the gear anyhow. Cooking, however, can provide that nice buff ya need from time-to-time and it's free! Fishing is also handy because it's an easy way to get mats for leveling Cooking. See El's Extreme Anglin' guides for some great ideas on how to level both at the same time almost effortlessly.

Of course, you could always figure it out for yourself, and that's kinda fun too. :)

Next: Yet more rambling on leveling and why it's borked. Bad. Fix, Blizz ,Fix!


Friday, May 22

For the Alliance!

I've done the Horde bosses a couple of times. Well, all but the Tauren one. Never successfully, mind you, but they were just for fun "nothing else to do" kinda raids.


There's a group of Alliance on Fenris who have made something of an art form of raiding the Horde cities. This Saturday (it's no secret) they'll be leading huge 400+ raids into all four Horde capitals at once. Not sure why, except that they can. Which I can respect that. :)

I won't get to go on that one 'cause of work, but I did get to hook up with one of the raid leaders and his crew last night for a For the Alliance raid. I'd been hearing good things about Hardwarlock, his gang, and their success in leading various raids. So successful that my Horde friends on Fenris admitted that, when they know they're coming, they don't even bother putting up a fight anymore. I can see why.

All one shots. All Horde bosses in... a tiny bit over 54 minutes. :D

And no this wasn't at 3AM or anything ultra-shitty like that. This was at about 10pm realm time (Eastern US). Realm was at medium population at the time.

What was amazing was how well organized it was. With thier reputation, the raid filled in about 15 minutes. 10 minutes after that everyone was summoned, ported, mounted and at the gates of Theramore. The rest stops for each city were planned out and well palced. The raid leaders had every detail planned out from the starting place to the escape plan. Every tank knew specifically what to do and where to go. Every healer had their assignments. They used vent to give quick and concise strategy for the next city while in route. The raid assitants knew thier jobs. Everyone was calm, cool, and even funny. If something went wrong, they had a plan or a response for that as well.

Everyone did what they were told to do! Huge plus.

We just blew through it.

I was backup tank on Thrall (not needed). We did a four tank taunt-fest on Bloodhoof. The MT got dismounted going into Sylvanas, so I got to start that fight. And I got to MT on that Silvermoon guy. (Does anyone really ever remember his name?!?)

There was an explosion in the Black Bear population of Dalran shortly after. Go figure. :)

Very fun raid when done right. It's very fun when done wrong, as well, don't get me wrong. In fact, it's way more exciting when you're suddenly alone and being hunted through the streets of a Horde capitol with the entire city population pissed off and looking to tar and feather you (or worse). But when it goes exceptionally well... and there's bear in your mail box when you finish... well, that's pretty good, too. :D


PS And yah we went so fast I couldn't even get a good screen shot. But I'm going again, soon!

Sunday, May 17

A Warrior's Journey: Leaving the Nest

I've leveled plenty of alts, mostly on the Alliance side. I've tried to level Horde alts. Shamans, warlocks, hunters, mages, even a rogue. I tried Trolls (funny), Undead (sick, but in a good way sometimes), Taurens (way too cute and fuzzy), and Belfs (no thanks, okay, bye bye).

I finally broke down and started up what I know best and what I like about the Horde. I made an Orc Warrior. :)

I love these guys.

Wha? Another warrior? Yah. I likes them. Why an Orc? I likes them, too. They're all green and growly and stuff and it's funny when they say "Lok'tar!" (No idea what that meant until now, but it's still fun to say.)

So I decided it'd be fun to write about the new Warrior leveling experience. Not technically. I'm no good at hardcore guides, how-tos, or anything like that. This is just the impressions that I get.

First thing I did was decide, after many, many moons, to start over completely. I've never really left Fenris. I've got a few toons on other servers, but they were all from when home was down. You know those annoying people that flood your home realm's starter area, take over /trade and dance nekkid on the mailbox when yours is the only realm up? That would be me. Sorry about that.

So, I switched realms and made a brand spankin' new level 1 Orc. This is about as close to the noob experience as you can get. Change factions, realms and roll.

The game is very different, at least for me, with absolutely no social circle, no guild to call on, no high level characters to get mail from, no resources. Just a mostly nekkid orc standing around in the desert. Kind of a deserted island feeling. Freaky.

I can't whisper a friend and say, "Hey it's Fri on an alt! Come kill this bad guy! PLEEEEEZ"

There's no "Hiya GM-type! It's Fri. Can you guild invite me. I needs golds!"

There's no way I'm leveling a crafting profession. I need money! I stayed in the starter area for awhile signing guildbank charters and made 5g. Whew. At least my Axe doesn't completely suck any more. Vanity is a huge motivator to sell your signature to any Belf that walk by. I'm not ashamed of that. You'd do it, too for an Axe with 7.8 dps. Ha!

Quest rewards in vanilla are terrible. Yes, that chest piece with twice the armor but with spirit on it IS better for your little warrior. Sad, but true. I'm still gonna save all my golds as best I can so I can get a mount at 30. Walking sucks. And yes, it's worse on the Horde side. Yes. Truth. Imagine runs as long as the Duskwood road for And the gathering quests? Way worse than Westfall. Seriously. There are MILLIONS of beakless plainstriders in the Barrens. Millions of them.

Remember when managing rage was an important part of the game? I can't spam HS??? What's wrong with this damn game?!? Oh. I have to wait. I hate waiting. What level do I get Shield Slam? UHG!

Seeing the Barrens without having to ride like hell and check over your shoulder constantly is actually a treat. At sundown it's a quite fetching. Very African savanah looking. Wait...

That level 13 raptor did NOT just pwn me? No way. Arg! That's it, I'm buying armor, anyway. Hell with the mount. Three bone runs in a row is more than this little Orc can take. And I'm coming back for you Raptor-boy. Oh yes.

I keep giving Barrens guards a wide berth. Habits dying hard and all that.

Oh, crap. I forgot to train and buy a ranged weapon. Ogrimar is a looooong way away.

Run little Orc run!

So far so good... at least with skinning and mining I'm making enough money to keep my skills leveled. First time doing this I had to go grind gnolls constantly for coppers. Experience helps a little even when you're out on your own. Still... a guildie or two would be nice. Hmmmm...

I probably missed all the fun. So far, not a single person has spoken in the infamous Barrens Chat.

Next, how the leveling goes for a new Warrior.


Sunday, May 10

Aggro for the non-Warrior

So, I'm playing tourist in a Hyjal raid last night and we end up with, like, five freakin' tanks. Which might be fine at 70, but all of them were above that and three of us were 80. The MT was a really good, Naxx geared Pally. This was definitely a "Gee, haven't seen this, let's go on a tour" kinda run with several 70-suches hoping for a lil' gear boost in tow.

Biggest problem?

DKs pulling aggro. We also had a Mage that was WAY more geared than anyone else there and she was rocking the place. The difference was, she was trying REALLY hard not to pull aggro off the MT. The DKs were nuts. They died a lot.

I got to tank the second boss, and plenty of the trash, and I was working overtime to keep threat up. I don't raid, so maybe that's how it always is. Great practice, though, and lots of fun!

Regardless, it got me thinkin'. A disturbingly large number of players don't understand HOW a tank holds aggro. They may understand the basic principles of threat and aggro, but they don't get (or don't care to get) how it's done.

There's an important distinction in that line of thinking. It's the tank's job to generate threat. It's EVERYONE'S job to MANAGE threat. The tank can't manage your threat for you. We don't have those tools.

How does a Warrior tank generate threat? Here's an easy cheat sheet:

Attack Power

The stronger the tank, the more Attack Power (AP) they have. The more Attack Power they have the more threat they generate. Strong tank = lotsa threats. There's lots more to it than just Strength and AP, but it's a good start. Many Warrior abilities are based on AP.
Thing to Remember: If the Warrior's gear is several levels lower than yours, her AP is gonna be lower and she'll generate less threat than a tank at your gear level. Adjust accordingly.*


I've written about Shockwave before. It's the one where the tank stomps the ground and a big cone-shaped dust cloud shoots out in front of her.

Things to Remember: If the mob is outside the Shockwave cone, the Warrior gets no threat. Don't hit the mob outside the cone. This has a long cool down, 20 seconds unmodified.

Thunder Clap

This is the one where the tank stomps the group and lightning shoots out all around her in a circle. It generates threat and damage, which equals more threat. Many Warrior tanks have Improved Thunder Clap. Yah, Warrior tanks do a lot of stomping.

Things to Remember: If the big meanie is outside the circle, no threat. The base cool down is six seconds. If you out threat the Warrior, she can't use this again until it cools down. Be mindful of the timing.

Damage Shield

This one is based on Block Value. Check the Warrior's shield. The more block value they have, the better this works. It is a VERY GOOD, constant threat generator in melee. (Note that block value is not Block Rating. Different animals.)

This is one very few people actually get.

Things to Remember: The mob must be actually hitting the tank in melee for this to work. It doesn't work on caster mobs unless they hit the Warrior with their funny little sticks. More important, if the mob is hitting you, Damage Shield isn't generating any threat. Um, yah that would be a Bad Thing.

Warriors are subject to the GCD just like you. Unlike you, Warriors have few instant attacks.

Things to Remember: The best way to control threat is timing. Let the Warrior build up threat for as long as you can stand it. I grew up as DPS, so understand the ants-in-the-pants feeling. Zen a bit and let her do her job.


Warriors' main threat generators are melee based and include Shield Slam (GCD, but can be proc'd), Revenge (proc), Heroic Strike (swing timer, check the weapon speed), and Concussion Blow (30 second cooldown and AP based). Thunderclap, Heroic Throw and Shockwave add a bit of range, but not much.

To Remember: If it's not in range, the Warrior isn't getting its attention. No touchy. Specially with anything AoE. Watch the AoE. Seriously. No, really.

Some final things to remember:

- If it's hitting you, stop hitting it. Just stop generating threat. Yes, your Warrior has panic buttons to equalize threat, but even then you've gotta give 'em a second or two to build it up before you start blasting away again.

- Never run away from your Warrior tank. Yes, your Warrior can run you down very quickly. But those chase 'em down abilities are on cool downs and it's better not to have to use them. Always move with the tank.

- If you cast, stay out of melee range. You generate way more threat in melee range than you do outside of melee range. I know, everyone wants to get close to the lovable, huggable Warrior. Understandable. But in a fight, give her some space.

- Warriors (all tanks, actually) prioritize. We prioritize threats, problems and abilities. Learn how your Warrior does this, talk to her about it, and listen when she points it out. Your Warrior is the best source of information. She's very smart and knows all about doing Warriory** things. :)

Remember these things and you'll find that, like magic, your adventures with Warrior tanks suddenly work flawlessly. Just like you nuke bad things in your own sweet way, just like you pew pew your lasers in your own joyous fashion, Warriors generate threat and hold aggro in their own unique way.

Get to know your Warrior a little better. It won't hurt.... much. :)


* I'm not even getting into a fight about degrading oneself so horribly as to run with a lesser tank who's gear doesn't match or out do your own. I'm talking about reality here, not a little epeen fantasy world. :P

** YES! Warriory is a word. It is.

Thursday, May 7

Shake Your Tank Booty

Today's post is brought to you by Mr. Harry Belafonte, who has been shaking booties around the world for over 40 years. Jump in the line!

"She's a Hurricane in all Kinds of Weather"

There's all kinds of Warrior tanks in World of Warcraft, but there two types that people either love or want to rip their hair out: The stand and fight type, and the run in circles type. In my experience, Warrior tanks and Bears tend to be the stand and fight types. I've seen Warrior tanks that run around like the proverbial chickens with their heads cut off, though. Weirdos.


Regardless of what kind of tank ya are, you have to be able to move. Many Warrior tanks might tend to like their mobs all lined up in nice neat little semi-circles for killin', but it usually doesn't work that way. Ya gotta move it.

So follow along with Mr Bellafonte in the background while we talk about how to shake your booty, Warrior style. :D

"You Jump in the Saddle Hold on to the Bridle!"

Positioning. It's one of the very first things and tank needs to learn. Positioning makes your job way easier, and sets consistency for the DPS who will be taking the bad guys down. It also protects the ranged casters and, of course, your favorite person in the whole world at that moment: Your Healer.

It starts with the initial pull. Whether you pull from range, have a misdirect, LoS pull, charge, or just go with the old fashioned face pull, you gotta get the mobs where they need to be for proper disposal.

A quick run down of our "jump in the saddle" options and how they affect a tank's moves. We'll save fine points of pulling for a later post.

Ranged Pull - You use your ranged weapon, or Heroic Throw, to hit a mob and hope the whole pack follows along. You stand where you are and let them come to you. As long as everyone in your party stands perfectly still and doesn't so much as hiccup, the mobs will line up on you and you can start beating on them.

Misdirect - You get where you want the mobs to be, but another player (a Hunter) pulls the mobs, then Misdirects them to you. Then you grab 'em. A more advanced option, granted, but useful on occasion, particularly when you need to be in a certain spot before the pull and getting there could be problematic with a mob train on you.

LoS (Line of Sight) Pull - You taunt or shoot a mob, then run like crazy around a corner. The mobs follow you around the corner and into your awaiting blood thirsty party members who dispatch the mobs in a disorderly fashion. It's a real shame mobs can't emote surprise. I call this the Tom & Jerry pull. :) Of course, the main reason for this is to deny LoS to ranged mobs forcing them to come to you.

Charge - You select a mob and charge it. Mobs will generally gather around you nicely. The benefit is you start with additional Rage and can organize things and establish aggro quickly.

Face Pull - You run up to a mob and smack him with something large and heavy. All other mobs jump on you. Usually chaos ensues. This is usually done by accident when a tank breaks a mob's aggro circle. Oops. You cover the mistake by announcing, quickly, /rw Face Pull! and insisting you "meant to do that."

Plenty of pluses and minuses to each pull type. What's important to understand, as far as how you move around the fight, is where the mobs will start out on each fight. The pull you use will set up the initial positioning. This takes a little practice.

A good pull will alleviate a lot of the necessity of running around the fight on trash pulls. On a boss pull, it puts the boss in the correct position for DPS to get in behind it easily, keeps the boss pointed away from the healer, and puts you in a position to grab adds quickly.

"Rock Your Body, Child!"

First step, after the pull, is to move the mobs properly. This should be like a well timed conga line. Two skills you need right off the bat: running sideways and back stepping.

The default for sideways running (sometimes called strafing, I believe /shrug) is to use the Q and E keys. You can set those to whatever is most comfortable. But do it. And practice it. You need to be able to do your primary threat moves and run sideways at the same time.

Why? Good question. Running sideways allows you to turn with your mouse, keeping the target in front of you. Turning your back on elite mobs or a boss is a Very Bad Thing. There are certainly times when you're going to have to do it, of course. But when you can, side run and circle around, keeping your side or front toward the mob(s).

Back stepping is as simple as pressing the S key (default). You need to do this to draw the mobs into formation, back up a step to use Shockwave, and to nudge the mobs a little bit further away from those pats that are coming up on you. You'll also use both these skills to make sure you're in LoS of your healer, of course. No LoS = No Heals. No Heals = Dead Tank. Sad. /cry

Combine the two techniques with mouse turning to face and position as you please. You do mouse turn, right? Well, if not, that makes three things ya need to learn to do.

"When She Wind Up She Bottom She Go Like a Rocket!"

I always prefer, if possible, to run through the mobs or boss and have them turn with me. Then I don't have to worry about where the DPS is, since they'll be facing the butt-side anyhow. In most cases, it also takes the healer out of any direct attack. The second benefit is that, god forbid, any pats come upon us, they'll either aggro on me, or they'll have to run past me, making it easy to grab 'em as they go by.

Charge and Warbringer are your friends for moving. Warrior tanks are the most mobile of tanks because of these abilities and the ability called Intervene. A Warrior tank can literally zoom around a fight and be right where they're needed. Don't forget to use all of your cc breaks, as well. Knowing how and when to use those can, literally, save the day.

The game really likes to throw things at tanks. Throw backs, stuns, aggro resets, caster spawns, multiple adds from all directions. It's nice when you can stand and fight in a hallway, but the most important fights almost always take place in a nice big open room with evil critters spread out in odd positions. You'll use Warbringer to get to another part of the fight quickly. And then reposition.

Intervene is for getting to someone in trouble quickly. Punch it, go like a rocket, taunt and reposition. All those mobs you were holding are gonna follow you, albeit a bit slower than you were going.

Wait! Friday, ya said "reposition" twice now!?! Yah. After you move your body around, ya gotta get everything back in order. That's where our first two skills, side running and back stepping, come in handy yet again. If you Intervene a mob on your healer, ya gotta pull said mobs away from the healer. The healer can't be casting inside melee range (generates way more threat). Now, one would hope they would move back out of range. Hope in one hand, and pee in the other. See which gets full faster.

In most cases, the healer simply can't (or won't) move. If they run, they'll aggro more mobs, move out of range, or break LoS to you and the rest of the group. All very Bad Things. You're gonna have to haul the mobs with you.

Just drag the mobs out of range so your healer can start doing his job again. Side run toward the previous group, then back step them into position along with their naughty friend. Once you're organized, everyone can get back to work.

"She Go Up in the Air Come Down In Slow Motion"

In the middle of a fight, when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong. Being able to move properly is the single most important skill a tank can have. Ya gotta go where you're needed, not where you want to be. There's even times where you won't be able to stand still at all! The horror!

You might have to run around in circles, rapidly Thunderclap'n away to snap aggro on multiple spawns. Can anyone say Halls of Stone. Gah! Other times, you MUST move or die. Jump on the Line for the Loken fight, for example, and walk him. Or running behind a pillar for Ingvar's Dark Smash. If you can't mouse turn and walk backwards and fight at the same time, you're toast.

There's plenty of times where you're tossed in the air and it seems like it takes forever to come down. Most of the time you'll just plant against a wall. Good positioning. But there's plenty of fights where that's just not gonna happen. Charge back in! Reposition.

Things to keep in mind while positioning/repositioning:

- If you can put your back to a wall, do. This prevents knock back attacks and keeps you in the action. In addition, if there's shite on the floor you can just side run along the wall to get out of it. (Don't gospel this, btw. If it makes more sense to fight in the open, then fight in the open!)

- Try to turn the mobs so that the butt-side faces your healer. This makes it easier for your DPS to get into position. It keeps any forward shootin' nasty crap from hitting your healer. It makes it easy to tell when someone else pulls aggro. If you see ass*, there's a problem.

- Macro intervene with a target and taunt/shield slam. When someone other than the tank has aggro, they should stop hitting the mob so that they don't override the tank's taunt. And if that's ever occurred while you're tanking, then congratulations, you're the first. When DPS or a healer starts getting hit, they tend to panic and start doing all kinds of crazy threat generating things. So be ready when you equalize threat to pile it on, fight and reposition at the same time. Macros is helpers.

- Use Warbringer. Constantly. All the times. Burn it till it hurts.

- Little steps backwards or to the side can dramatically change how the mobs line up. A step backward can spread 'em out, for example, so that they are easier to target. A little side step or two can pull the boss over enough to keep the healer from taking a shot in the melon. Little things matter.

- Don't be afraid to move. Walk right through other mobs and players to get to the one that's the problem. They'll follow you. No worries.

- Turn your graphics down. I know it ain't as purdy, and it bugs me too, but when you've got huge piles of FX going off, it's hard to see where everything is. To position properly you must be able to see. Turn it down and save pretty for those long, slow flights over the Fjord.

- Communicate. Tell your group how you pull. If you change, due to circumstances, tell them what you're doing. Macro "/rw Tank Repositioning!" and blast it when you need to rearrange the furniture.

* I fully understand and sympathize with the fact that, on some mobs, it's hard to tell the difference. Being a tank isn't easy.

Being able to move is one of a Warrior tank's best weapons. Learn it. Shake your tank booty and dance with the biggest, baddest bosses. Being skilled at moving and positioning properly takes practice, but it's a skill that will get you farther and be ginormously appreciated by everyone you group with.

'mon tanks! I believe you! Jump on the line! Rock your body in time! :D


Sunday, May 3

Alchemy Revelation

I don't really write a lot about Alchemy and Herbalism, though I prolly should. It's pretty simple:

Pick the flower.

Make the pot.

Drink the pot.


Prolly why I like it. It's pretty simple and has some great bennies.

Course, like any profession in WoW it's got some complexities. Tracking which herb makes what, what you can make with what you got, and so on can get a little overwhelming. I'll take anything that simplifies.

My ideal add on Alchemy add-on would:

* Keep track of all Alchemy related mats across all toons.
* Show me a list of what I can make with on hands.
* Show me a list of what I can't make with on hands.
* Show me the best place to farm what I don't have (interface with Carbonite)
* Show me a list of recipes I have.
* Show me a full list of what I don't have (and where to get 'em).
* Calculate the going price of a mat versus finished product using Auction Lite pricing on mouse over.

Is that asking so much? Yah, I basically want an alchemist apprentice companion who does everything for me. And a personal cook. And a guy to go fishing for me. And why can't my Squire actually carry some of my crap?!? Great, you can carry my Champion flags around. Woopee. I carried several thousand pounds of horse and bird around in my backpack for years, you little whimp!


While browsing I found this one that at least helps a bit. It's called Revelation. When you use a key combo-mouse click, it pulls up a list of what you can make with a particular herb based on what you have on-hand in your bags. Is that snazzy or what?!?

So in the pic, you can see I can make the four pots I use regularly with two herbs and one vial. I use Crazy Alchemist's Potion, Elixir of Deadly Strikes, Elixir of Expertise, and Elixir of Mighty Fortitude. (I pre-mix Flask of Stoneblood for dungeon runnin'.) Without having to opening the trade window, I just select the one I want, click how many I want, mix, drink, done!

I can also drag my herb bag from the bank into a bag slot, do the key-mouse click thingie, and get an easy list of what I can make with on-hands before a run. Combine with Auction Lite and ya get a quick price comparison of mat stacks versus finished pot. Little maths involved, but not too terrible and way easier than doing the comparison by hand while scanning the AH.

Apparently works for other professions, as well... but who cares. :D

Gotta recommend this one for all hippy flower pickers out there. It's easy, small and an awesome interface addition.


Nothin' Exciting

Just some catchin' up on screen shots. Lots of drafts I'm workin' on but nothing ready yet...

New gold making opportunity.

This guy is just the BEST listener in the world!

Crazy lady? Lich King? That's not good.
(Fun fight, though. Specially when the healer gets the

Quick fun run with the big bugs.

Make that dead big bugs.

Lil' bit o' Fury fun before going back to Arms.
Want one of those!

Sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt your "Private Time."

HoL and UP are two of my favorite dungeons.

Always a pleasure. Now, die scumbag.

Back to Arms! Yeah! Needs gears! Oh noes.

LOL! Funny glitch. Ram surfin', Vi!

Hail to the Queen! On your knees, Lich Bitch!